Feb 08 , 2021
Recently we had a Covid scare at the bakery. Keep in mind we are still a small and lean operation; losing two team members for a week at the time sent us to 60% of our workforce.
In the end, all was well. We took the proper precautions, followed our Covid-19 protocol, made a few adjustments according to the live scenario, and worked with our distributors to ensure all felt they would be safe. Along the way, however, employee morale suffered, and anxiety abounded.
Many of us are feeling the weight of an extended pandemic time, with social/spatial distancing and masking up. Many of us have felt first hand the effects of having to quarantine, or not be able to be near loved ones while they are quarantined. Some may be letting up a little, just plain tired of the limitations imposed in these times. And some may feel a false sense of security because the word "vaccine" has become a real phenomenon in every single state, with tiers kicking in and people receiving shots.
But this is not the time to let up. States are markedly different in their approaches to vaccination, and new strains of the virus are spreading rapidly. If you are refusing to mask up when in public- still- you are not a team player. We are all in this together. We are all feeling the strain, and those of us in the food business are feeling it hard. Companies are scrambling to adapt, to be flexible and address the limits before us. And some are going out of business, or at the very least, having to let employees go.
Regardless your political affiliation or personal philosophy, there is no reason to not be as considerate in masking up as you would be if required to wear a shirt and shoes when entering a public space. NO REASON. If you are still sidling up to someone at the airport, sitting down right next to her with your mask off to see what will happen, you are lucky she doesn't clock you. (Personal experience from someone who is health compromised and was anxious about flying for exactly that reason, but had to because of a family emergency.) Sure, we all make a choice whether or not to enter a public space like an airport. (I could have opted to let my family deal with the emergency without me.) And traveling for 17 hours in a mask does get to feeling pretty frustrating. But every single one of us who is alive to make decisions can make the decision to mask up for ourselves and for everyone around us.
Lisa Cox is CEO/ SVP Sales & Marketing at Gem City Fine Foods and appreciates your being responsible and masking up in public.